Wealthy Couple Under Fire After Using GoFundMe To Collect For Dog’s Surgery

As vet bills surpass $10.5K, Edward’s pawrents ask Instagram followers for help

By Justyne Yuen-Lee

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Credit: Instagram / @edward.lear

Richard Huntington and Annabel Bird run an Instagram page for their Welsh Terrier, Edward Lear. The page has over 10K followers and showcases the luxurious life of Edward, wearing designer dog fashions and frequenting five-star hotels. One thing is for sure, Edward’s followers love seeing everything he does and engaging with him. In the beginning of January, it became clear that Edward needed surgery for “elbow dysplasia in his front leg and also torn cruciate ligaments in his rear legs.”  Huntington and Bird did what many folks do in these situations, they set up a GoFundMe with the goal of raising £7500 ($10.5K USD) to cover three surgeries with celebrity vet, Noel Fitzpatrick of Supervet.

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Credit: GoFundMe

Over 22 days, 219 people donated to the GoFundMe, raising over £5300 ($7500 USD). Those who didn’t donate, however, bashed the couple as “shameless.”

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Credit: Instagram / @edward.lear

It appears that Richard is the chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi with a rumored six-figure salary. Annabel, not to be outdone, runs Bleak House lifestyle company and enjoys her own generous pay check.

Responding to criticism, Annabel clarified that the couple’s insurance had a limit of £4000 and that they were left with bills of an excess of the £7500.

Additionally, she wrote on the GoFundMe site:

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“Thank you again to everyone who contributed to Edward’s GoFundMe. Unfortunately, his page has received some negative press because of who my husband Richard works for. As you know, this page was set up for our friends and family and those of mine and Edward’s Instagram followers who kindly asked to donate money to help with his recovery.

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Credit: Instagram / @edward.lear

“This is not uncommon in the dog community on Instagram which is a wholly supportive and wonderful place to hang out. Anyone who follows Edward and/or me on Instagram knows something of our lives and I have never made a secret of the fact that Richard has a high-profile career (he is usually tagged when he appears in Edward’s feed).”

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The couple has since offered to redirect donated funds to a charity of the donor’s choice or cancel altogether.

The funds raised before any of this negative press shows us that Edward’s Internet family didn’t feel as if this was a shameless request. This online doggy community followed Edward’s life closely and presumably knew the family’s financial status – and pet owners know the difficulty of sudden vet bills and the financial burden they bring. Do you agree that this request was indeed “shameless”? – Let us know in the comments below!